Penny is one of publishing's most respected experts for marketing your books and she wrote a great post for Joel Friedlander on his Book Designer Blog. The article by Penny talked about how to get more recognition from Amazon's algorithm.
It's definitely an excellent read that you can find here. Her article discuses Keywords, SEO, categories and book descriptions. She also gives some very good insight on Amazon's algorithm. Some (but not all) of the key pieces of information I learned from her article are:
- You need to have at least 500 words in your book description to get picked up by Amazon's search engine. When I looked at mine it was 299. I actually thought it was okay because my word count was about the same as John Grisham's. The difference is John Grisham doesn't need Amazon algorithm to find his books and promote them. Readers ping him enough he'll always get to the top. I do need to get Amazon to notice so I upped my word count.
- Keywords: This was again where I was not taking full advantage of the Amazon opportunity. I think when I looked back at it I only had about 4 of the 7 categories. Not very smart on my part. Thankfully Amazon makes it very easy to make changes on the back end so I went in and added keywords to make it to 7.
- Subtitle--My subtitle had been blank. I cannot manually change on Createspace so I sent a note to support and if that does not work I plan to go through Author Central. On KDP you can make the change yourself, which I did.
- Changes to book description and blog: Google loves blogs that update their content and Penny thinks Amazon's algorithms may too. So it may make sense to tweak my description once in a while.
One other change I made, which I am probably way too proud about is that I figured out how to do some html coding so that my description, esp for the paperback version, should look much better. I did some bold, added paragraph breaks and even did an italics. I'm going to review some book descriptions today, especially from independently published authors, and see how many use html to improve the aesthetics of their descriptions versus those who were making the mistake of just having simple block text.
I'm excited to see how the changes look and I will up post the new description here in a future post. (What? You don't think I was going to post in this same post did you? Not after I learned that Google loves blogs that are frequently updated. The description is over 500 words which is what google likes so I'll show them some love by creating a separate post for them.)
If you want to learn more about Penny, you can find her on her blog